- “Gap Analysis” report released recommending education reform.
- State Department of Education works with parents, educators, business and community leaders to begin discussion on developing rigorous content standards (what students should know and be able to do).
- Curriculum Framework Commissions are formed to make recommendations for content standards in reading, writing, math, science and social studies.
- Curriculum Framework Commissions release report on content standards for public comment.
- Statewide in-service days to introduce educators to the content standards. National experts and community members reviewed the standards in public forums.
- State Board of Education approved the content standards for reading, writing, math, science and social studies after a series of meetings with public, legislators, business leaders and educators.
- Delaware educators began developing test questions for Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP) to measure if students have learned the content standards.
- Legislation passed for public school accountability and social promotion.
- Accountability Legislation:
- Five performance levels on the DSTP were established for students: Distinguished (Level 5), Exceeds the Standard (Level 4), Meets the Standards (Level 3) – Grade Level Proficiency, Below the Standard (Level 2), Well Below the Standard (Level 1).
- DSTP is the primary indicator for a statewide accountability system to find out if students have learned the content standards. The DSTP will be used in certain grades and in some subjects as part of the criteria for promotion, retention and high school graduation.
- Social Promotion Legislation:
- Students in grades 1 to 8 must also pass 50% of the coursework including English Language Arts to be promoted.
- April 1998 –Students tested in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10 in reading, writing and mathematics for the first time. (No consequences.)
- April –Students tested in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10 in reading, writing and mathematics for the second time. (No consequences.)
- August –Standards setting procedure performed to determine the cut point scores for the five performance levels on the Delaware Students Testing Program.
- Nearly 200 judges came together to determine “how good is good enough” – what students must do to meet or exceed the standard on the DSTP.
- Judges utilized an “item mapping process” by reviewing test questions to determine the lowest possible score a judge would accept from a student who could be said to meet or exceed the standard.
- Judges reviewed the 1999 Delaware Student Testing Program scores to assess impact of cut points.
- September –The State Board of Education votes unanimously to adopt the cut scores recommended for the Delaware Student Testing Program.
- October –Delaware Student Testing Program results available for individual students. (No consequences.)
- April –Students tested in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10 in reading, writing and mathematics for the third time.
- To be eligible for promotion, students in grades 3 and 5 must meet the standard in READING on the DSTP.
- To be eligible for promotion, students in grade 8 must meet the standard in READING and MATH on the DSTP.
- To receive a high school diploma, grade 10 students must meet the standards of a combined score in READING, WRITING and MATH by the end of their grade 12 year. (Students will have mutiple opportunities to take the DSTP.)
- School building and school district accountability implemented.